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Book Club Kits



Expand the options your book club has through CALS Book Club Kits, made possible by Friends of the Central Arkansas Library (FOCAL). Request a kit to be sent to your branch for pickup. Kits contain copies of a title and a discussion guide, and can be checked out for six weeks. Click on the tabs below for available book titles.

What is a CALS Book Club Kit?

A book club kit is a handy canvas tote that holds:

  • 10 paperback copies of one title and;
  • 1 discussion guide to assist book club leaders.

How do I reserve a CALS Book Club kit?

  1. Download and complete the Book Club Registration Form, then deliver or mail it to any branch of the Central Arkansas Library System.

What rules apply to a CALS Book Club Kit?

  • Kits may be reserved up to a year in advance
  • Kits are checked out to one person (must be 18 years or older) who will be responsible for returning it.
  • Each book club kit will be checked out for 6 weeks. (Sorry, no renewals are allowed.)
  • The complete kit must be returned to the Circulation Desk of any branch library during regular library hours. Do not use a book drop to return your kit.
  • The fine for overdue book club kits is $1 per day per kit.
  • If a kit is not returned, the replacement cost is $100. Replacement costs will be prorated for missing or damaged items.

Are there special requirements for the Juvenile/YA book kits?

We only require that an adult (18+) check out each book kit. Adult book clubs as well as book clubs for children and teens are encouraged to consider the award-winning literature offered through our Juvenile/YA book kit program.

As with all books your club selects, we recommend that a member of your group reads the book to see if it is a good fit for your club. To find out more about any selection, click "Check Library Catalog" below to view each CALS online catalog record.

48 Laws of Power, by Robert Greene

The 48 Laws of Power
by Robert Greene

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Before Mastery, came The 48 Laws of Power the New York Times bestseller that started it all. Amoral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive, The 48 Laws of Power is the definitive manual for anyone interested in gaining, observing, or defending against ultimate control. In the book that People proclaimed "beguiling and fascinating", Robert Greene and Joost Elffers have distilled three thousand years of the history of power into 48 essential laws by drawing from the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, and Carl Von Clausewitz and also from the lives of figures ranging from Henry Kissinger to P.T. Barnum.

Some laws teach the need for prudence (Law 1: Never Outshine the Master), others teach the value of confidence (Law 28: Enter Action with Boldness), and many recommend absolute self-preservation (Law 15: Crush Your Enemy Totally). Every law, though, has one thing in common: an interest in total domination. In a bold and arresting two-color package, The 48 Laws of Power is ideal whether your aim is conquest, self-defense, or simply to understand the rules of the game.

All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr

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Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure's reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum's most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure's converge.

Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Americanah
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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As teenagers in a Lagos secondary school, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are leaving the country if they can. Ifemelu – beautiful, self-assured – departs for America to study. She suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships and friendships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze – the quiet, thoughtful son of a professor – had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a writer of an eye-opening blog about race in America. But when Ifemelu returns to Nigeria, and she and Obinze reignite their shared passion – for their homeland and for each other – they will face the toughest decisions of their lives.

Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Between the World and Me
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

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In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of "race," a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men – bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates's attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son – and readers – the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children's lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.

The Boston Girl, by Anita Diamant

The Boston Girl
by Anita Diamant

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An unforgettable novel about family ties and values, friendship and feminism told through the eyes of a young Jewish woman growing up in Boston in the early twentieth century. Addie Baum is The Boston Girl, born in 1900 to immigrant parents who were unprepared for and suspicious of America and its effect on their three daughters. Growing up in the North End, then a teeming multicultural neighborhood, Addie's intelligence and curiosity take her to a world her parents can't imagine – a world of short skirts, movies, celebrity culture, and new opportunities for women. Addie wants to finish high school and dreams of going to college. She wants a career and to find true love.

Eighty-five-year-old Addie tells the story of her life to her twenty-two-year-old granddaughter, who has asked her "How did you get to be the woman you are today." She begins in 1915, the year she found her voice and made friends who would help shape the course of her life. From the one-room tenement apartment she shared with her parents and two sisters, to the library group for girls she joins at a neighborhood settlement house, to her first, disastrous love affair, Addie recalls her adventures with compassion for the naïve girl she was and a wicked sense of humor.

Carry On, Warrior, by Glennon Doyle Melton

Carry On, Warrior
by Glennon Doyle Melton

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For years Glennon Doyle Melton built a wall between herself and others, hiding inside a bunker of secrets and shame. But one day everything changed: Glennon woke up to life, committing herself to living out loud and giving language to our universal (yet often secret) experiences. She became a sensation when her personal essays started going viral. Her hilarious and poignant observations have been read by millions, shared among friends, discussed at water coolers, and have now inspired a social movement.

In Carry On, Warrior, Melton shares new stories and the best-loved material from Momastery.com. Her mistakes and triumphs demonstrate that love wins and that together we can do hard things. Melton is a courageous truth-teller and hopespreader, a wise and witty friend who emboldens us to believe in ourselves and reminds us that the journey is the reward.

Dad is Fat, by Jim Gaffigan

Dad is Fat
by Jim Gaffigan

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In Dad is Fat, stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan, who's best known for his legendary riffs on Hot Pockets, bacon, manatees, and McDonald's, expresses all the joys and horrors of life with five young children – everything from cousins ("celebrities for little kids") to toddlers' communication skills ("they always sound like they have traveled by horseback for hours to deliver important news"), to the eating habits of four year olds ("there is no difference between a four year old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor"). Dad is Fat is sharply observed, explosively funny, and a cry for help from a man who has realized he and his wife are outnumbered in their own home.

The Dinner, by Herman Koch

The Dinner
by Herman Koch

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A darkly suspenseful, highly controversial tale of two families struggling to make the hardest decision of their lives – all over the course of one meal. It's a summer's evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse – the banality of work, the triviality of the holidays. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened. Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children. As civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple shows just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.

Fourth of July Creek, by Smith Henderson

Fourth of July Creek
by Smith Henderson

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After trying to help Benjamin Pearl, an undernourished, nearly feral eleven-year-old boy living in the Montana wilderness, social worker Pete Snow comes face-to-face with the boy's profoundly disturbed father, Jeremiah. With courage and caution, Pete slowly earns a measure of trust from this paranoid survivalist itching for a final conflict that will signal the coming End Times. But as Pete's own family spins out of control, Pearl's activities spark the full-blown interest of the FBI, putting Pete at the center of a massive manhunt from which no one will emerge unscathed.

Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins

Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins

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A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people's lives. Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She's even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life, as she sees it, is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough. Now everything's changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee

Go Set a Watchman
by Harper Lee

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Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch – "Scout" – returns home from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise's homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town, and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past – a journey that can only be guided by one's own conscience. Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of Harper Lee.

Hard Choices, by Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hard Choices
by Hillary Rodham Clinton

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Hillary Rodham Clinton's inside account of the crises, choices, and challenges she faced during her four years as America's 67th Secretary of State, and how those experiences drive her view of the future. "All of us face hard choices in our lives," Hillary Rodham Clinton writes at the start of this personal chronicle of years at the center of world events. "Life is about making such choices. Our choices and how we handle them shape the people we become."

An astute eyewitness to decades of social change, she distinguishes the trendlines from the headlines and describes the progress occurring throughout the world, day after day. Secretary Clinton's descriptions of diplomatic conversations at the highest levels offer readers a master class in international relations, as does her analysis of how we can best use "smart power" to deliver security and prosperity in a rapidly changing world-one in which America remains the indispensable nation.

I am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai

I am Malala
by Malala Yousafzai

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Malala Yousafzai was only ten years old when the Taliban took control of her region. They said music was a crime. They said women weren't allowed to go to the market. They said girls couldn't go to school. Raised in a once-peaceful area of Pakistan transformed by terrorism, Malala was taught to stand up for what she believes. So she fought for her right to be educated. And on October 9, 2012, she nearly lost her life for the cause: She was shot point-blank while riding the bus on her way home from school. No one expected her to survive. Now Malala is an international symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner.

The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd

The Invention of Wings
by Sue Monk Kidd

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Hetty "Handful" Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke's daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women. Kidd's sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah's eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid. We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other's destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love.

Paper Towns, by John Green

Paper Towns
by John Green

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Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificent Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life – summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge – he follows. When their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Margo has disappeared. But Q soon learns that there are clues – and they're for him. Embarking on an exhilarating adventure to find her, the closer Q gets, the less he sees the girl he thought he knew.

The Paying Guests, by Sarah Waters

The Paying Guests
by Sarah Waters

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It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned; the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa – a large, silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants – life is about to be transformed as impoverished widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers. With the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the "clerk class," the routines of the house will be shaken up in unexpected ways. Little do the Wrays know just how profoundly their new tenants will alter the course of Frances's life, or, as passions mount and frustration gathers, how far-reaching, and how devastating, the disturbances will be.

Spool of Blue Thread, by Anne Tyler

Spool of Blue Thread
by Anne Tyler

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"It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon…" This is how Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she fell in love with Red that day in July 1959. The Whitshanks are one of those families that radiate togetherness: an indefinable, enviable kind of specialness. But they are also like all families, in that the stories they tell themselves reveal only part of the picture.

Abby and Red and their four grown children have accumulated not only tender moments, laughter, and celebrations, but also jealousies, disappointments, and carefully guarded secrets. From Red's father and mother, newly arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s, to Abby and Red's grandchildren carrying the family legacy boisterously into the twenty-first century, here are four generations of Whitshanks, their lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn Baltimore house that has always been their anchor.

Star for Mrs. Blake, by April Smith

A Star for Mrs. Blake
by April Smith

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A novel set in the 1930s about five American women – Gold Star Mothers – who travel to France to visit the graves of their WWI soldier sons – a pilgrimage that will change their lives in unforeseeable and indelible ways. The women meet for the first time just before their journey begins: Katie, an Irish maid from Dorchester, Massachusetts; Minnie, wife of an immigrant Russian Jewish chicken farmer; Bobbie, a wealthy Boston socialite; Wilhelmina, a former tennis star in precarious mental health; and Cora Blake, a single mother and librarian from coastal Maine.

When the women finally travel to Verdun to visit the battlegrounds where their sons fought as well as the cemeteries where they are buried, shocking events; a death, a scandal, a secret revealed; will guarantee that Cora's life and those of her traveling companions will become inextricably intertwined, and only now will they be able to emerge from their grief and return home to their loved ones.

Still Missing, by Chevy Stevens

Still Missing
by Chevy Stevens

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On the day she was abducted, Annie O'Sullivan, a thirty-two year old realtor, had three goals: sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever-patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she's about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all.

Interwoven with the story of the year Annie spent as the captive of psychopath in a remote mountain cabin, which unfolds through sessions with her psychiatrist, is a second narrative recounting events following her escape – her struggle to piece her shattered life back together and the ongoing police investigation into the identity of her captor. The truth doesn't always set you free.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, by Alan Bradley

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
by Alan Bradley

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It is the summer of 1950 and a series of inexplicable events has struck Buckshaw, the decaying English mansion that Flavia's family calls home. A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath. For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. "I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn't. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life." To Flavia the investigation is the stuff of science: full of possibilities, contradictions, and connections.

The Truth According to Us, by Annie Barrows

The Truth According to Us
by Annie Barrows

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In the summer of 1938, Layla Beck's father, a United States senator, cuts off her allowance and demands that she find employment on the Federal Writers' Project, a New Deal jobs program. Within days, Layla finds herself far from her accustomed social whirl, assigned to cover the history of the remote mill town of Macedonia, West Virginia, and destined, in her opinion, to go completely mad with boredom. But once she secures a room in the home of the unconventional Romeyn family, she is drawn into their complex world and soon discovers that the truth of the town is entangled in the thorny past of the Romeyn dynasty.

At the Romeyn house, twelve-year-old Willa is desperate to learn everything in her quest to acquire her favorite virtues of ferocity and devotion – a search that leads her into a thicket of mysteries, including the questionable business that occupies her charismatic father and the reason her adored aunt Jottie remains unmarried. Layla's arrival strikes a match to the family veneer, bringing to light buried secrets that will tell a new tale about the Romeyns. As Willa peels back the layers of her family's past, and Layla delves deeper into town legend, everyone involved is transformed – and their personal histories completely rewritten.

We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars
by E. Lockhart

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A private island. A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. A group of four friends – the Liars – whose friendship turns destructive. A revolution. An accident. A secret. Lies upon lies. True love. The truth. We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

As with all books your club selects, we recommend that a member of your group reads the book to see if it is a good fit for your club. To find out more about any selection, click "Check Library Catalog" below to view each CALS online catalog record. ** Please note: All book club kits must be checked out to an adult (18+) with a current, valid CALS library card.

Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl
by Eoin Colfer

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When a twelve-year-old evil genius tries to restore his family fortune by capturing a fairy and demanding a ransom in gold, the fairies fight back with magic, technology, and a particularly nasty troll. Book One of the Artemis Fowl series.

Ages 9-13

The Body of Christopher Creed, by Carol Plum-Ucci

The Body of Christopher Creed
by Carol Plum-Ucci

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Torey Adams, a high school junior with a seemingly perfect life, struggles with doubts and questions surrounding the mysterious disappearance of the class outcast.

Ages 13-18

Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire
by Suzanne Collins

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By winning the annual Hunger Games, District 12 tributes Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark have secured a life of safety and plenty for themselves and their families, but because they won by defying the rules, they unwittingly become the faces of an impending rebellion. Book Two of the Hunger Games series.

Ages 13-18

The City of Ember, by Jeanne Duprau

The City of Ember
by Jeanne Duprau

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In the year 241, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a Messenger to run to new places in her decaying but beloved city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions. Book One of the Books of Ember series.

Ages 9-13

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley's Journal, by Jeff Kinney

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley's Journal
by Jeff Kinney

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Greg records his sixth grade experiences in a middle school where he and his best friend, Rowley, undersized weaklings amid boys who need to shave twice daily, hope just to survive, but when Rowley grows more popular, Greg must take drastic measures to save their friendship. Book One of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

Ages 9-13

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules, by Jeff Kinney

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules
by Jeff Kinney

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Greg Heffley tells about his summer vacation and his attempts to steer clear of trouble when he returns to middle school and tries to keep his older brother Rodrick from telling everyone about Greg's most humiliating experience of the summer. Book Two of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

Ages 9-13

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw, by Jeff Kinney

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw
by Jeff Kinney

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Middle-schooler Greg Heffley nimbly sidesteps his father's attempts to change Greg's wimpy ways until his father threatens to send him to military school. Book Three of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

Ages 9-13

Fault in Our Stars, by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green

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Sixteen-year-old Hazel, a stage IV thyroid cancer patient, has accepted her terminal diagnosis until a chance meeting with a boy at cancer support group forces her to reexamine her perspective on love, loss, and life.

Ages 13-18

Gideon the Cutpurse, by Linda Buckley-Archer

Gideon the Cutpurse
by Linda Buckley-Archer

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Ignored by his father and sent to Derbyshire for the weekend, twelve-year-old Peter and his new friend, Kate, are accidentally transported back in time to 1763 England where they are befriended by a reformed cutpurse. Book One of the series.

Ages 9-13

The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book
by Neil Gaiman

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An orphaned boy is raised by ghosts and other denizens of the graveyard.

Ages 13-18

Gregor the Overlander, by Suzanne Collins

Gregor the Overlander
by Suzanne Collins

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When eleven-year-old Gregor and his two-year-old sister are pulled into a strange underground world, they trigger an epic battle involving men, bats, rats, cockroaches, and spiders while on a quest foretold by ancient prophecy. Book One of the Underland Chronicles.

Ages 9-13

Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins

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In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss's skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister's place. Book One of the Hunger Games series.

Ages 13-18

I am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai

I am Malala
by Malala Yousafzai

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Malala Yousafzai was only ten years old when the Taliban took control of her region. They said music was a crime. They said women weren't allowed to go to the market. They said girls couldn't go to school. Raised in a once-peaceful area of Pakistan transformed by terrorism, Malala was taught to stand up for what she believes. So she fought for her right to be educated. And on October 9, 2012, she nearly lost her life for the cause: She was shot point-blank while riding the bus on her way home from school. No one expected her to survive. Now Malala is an international symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke

Inkheart
by Cornelia Funke

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Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father, who repairs and binds books for a living, can "read" fictional characters to life when one of those characters abducts them and tries to force him into service.

Ages 9-13

Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, by Wendy Mass

Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life
by Wendy Mass

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Just before his thirteenth birthday, Jeremy Fink receives a keyless locked box – set aside by his father before his death five years earlier – that purportedly contains the meaning of life.

Ages 9-13

The Magician's Elephant, by Kate DiCamillo

The Magician's Elephant
by Kate DiCamillo

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When ten-year-old orphan Peter Augustus Duchene encounters a fortune teller in the marketplace one day and she tells him that his sister, who is presumed dead, is in fact alive, he embarks on a remarkable series of adventures as he desperately tries to find her.

Ages 9-13

Magyk, by Angie Sage

Magyk
by Angie Sage

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After learning that she is the Princess, Jenna is whisked from her home and carried toward safety by the Extraordinary Wizard, those she always believed were her father and brother, and a young guard known only as Boy 412 – pursued by agents of those who killed her mother ten years earlier. Book One of the Septimus Heap series.

Ages 9-13

The Merchant of Death, by D. MacHale

The Merchant of Death
by D. MacHale

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Bobby Pendragon is a seemingly normal and somewhat reluctant 14- year-old boy who is swept into an amazing five-year quest. Book One of the Pendragon series.

Ages 9-13

Olive's Ocean, by Kevin Henkes

Olive's Ocean
by Kevin Henkes

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On a summer visit to her grandmother's cottage by the ocean, twelve-year-old Martha gains perspective on the death of a classmate, on her relationship with her grandmother, on her feelings for an older boy, and on her plans to be a writer.

Ages 9-13

Paper Towns, by John Green

Paper Towns
by John Green

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Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificent Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life – summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge – he follows. When their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Margo has disappeared. But Q soon learns that there are clues – and they're for him. Embarking on an exhilarating adventure to find her, the closer Q gets, the less he sees the girl he thought he knew.

Peace, Locomotion, by Jacqueline Woodson

Peace, Locomotion
by Jacqueline Woodson

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Through letters to his little sister, who is living in a different foster home, sixth-grader Lonnie, also known as "Locomotion," keeps a record of their lives while they are apart, describing his own foster family, including his foster brother who returns home after losing a leg in the Iraq War.

Ages 9-13

The Penderwicks on Gardam Street , by Jeanne Birdsall

The Penderwicks on Gardam Street
by Jeanne Birdsall

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The four Penderwick sisters are faced with the unimaginable prospect of their widowed father dating, and they hatch a plot to stop him.

Ages 9-13

Saffy's Angel, by Hilary McKay

Saffy's Angel
by Hilary McKay

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After learning that she was adopted, thirteen-year-old Saffron's relationship with her eccentric, artistic family changes, until they help her go back to Italy where she was born to find a special memento of her past.

Ages 9-13

Salem Brownstone, by John Harris Dunning

Salem Brownstone
by John Harris Dunning

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Upon his father's death, Salem Brownstone inherits a mansion as well as an unfinished battle with creatures from another world, which requires him to seek the help of his guardian familiar and the colorful performers of Dr. Kinoshita's Circus of Unearthly Delights.

Ages 13-18

A Season of Gifts, by Richard Peck

A Season of Gifts
by Richard Peck

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Relates the surprising gifts bestowed on twelveyear-old Bob Barnhart and his family, who have recently moved to a small Illinois town in 1958, by their largerthan-life neighbor, Mrs. Dowdel. A companion novel to A Long Way from Chicago and A Year Down Yonder.

Ages 9-13

Skeleton Man, by Joseph Bruchac

Skeleton Man
by Joseph Bruchac

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After her parents disappear and she is turned over to the care of a strange "great-uncle," Molly must rely on her dreams about an old Mohawk story for her safety and maybe even for her life.

Ages 9-13

Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson

Treasure Island
by Robert Louis Stevenson

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While going through the possessions of a deceased guest who owed them money, the mistress of the inn and her son find a treasure map that leads them to a pirate's fortune.

Ages 13-18

We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars
by E. Lockhart

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A private island. A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. A group of four friends – the Liars – whose friendship turns destructive. A revolution. An accident. A secret. Lies upon lies. True love. The truth. We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead

When You Reach Me
by Rebecca Stead

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As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1970s television game show, "The $20,000 Pyramid," a twelve-year-old New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy the laws of time and space.

Ages 9-13

Wonder, by R.J. Palacio

Wonder
by R.J. Palacio

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Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.

Ages 9-13

Zoobreak, by Gordon Korman

Zoobreak
by Gordon Korman

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After a class trip to a floating zoo where animals are mistreated and Savannah's missing pet monkey is found in a cage, Long Island sixth-grader Griffin Bing and his band of misfits plan a rescue.

Ages 9-13

As with all books your club selects, we recommend that a member of your group reads the book to see if it is a good fit for your club.>To find out more about any selection, click on the title below to view the CALS online catalog record.

 

For more information:

Contact Jeannie Burrus by phone at 918-3032, or email bookclubkits@cals.org.